Softball in regional quarterfinals

Softball in regional quarterfinals

The Rider Lady Raiders started their best of three series against Mansfield Legacy with a heart crushing defeat in extra innings. The Lady Broncos advanced to the region 1-4A quarterfinals with a sweep of the Denton Ryan Lady Raiders, a team that swept the Rider girls twice this year. The Lady Raiders knew well what they were up against and gave Mansfield Legacy everything they had in a battle of talented young pitchers. Both Rider’s Abby Donnell and Legacy’s Baylee Gray didn’t allow a run in regulation, but in the bottom of the 8th inning Legacy freshman Kolbee Gray hit an 0-1 pitch all the way to the back of the fence, rounded the bases, and avoided the relay throw home to give Legacy the walk off 1-0 victory. Sammy Hislop will take the mound and try to even the series tonight.

“The game last night was a true heartbreaker,” coach Alisha Franklin said. “The girls really played their guts out.”

Recapping the Lady Raiders playoff success they opened up the playoffs in a bi-district matchup against the Lady Hawks from Birdville. The Lady Raiders swept Birdville in two games with an impressive 10-0 run rule victory over the Lady Hawks and a 5-0 victory in Birdville in game two. Abby Donnell got the start in game one and limited the Lady Hawks to just two hits, while on the offensive end, went 4-for-4 with two singles and two doubles. In game two of the series, Sammy Hislop gave up only six hits and struck out four batters and got a bit of help on the offensive end as the Lady Raiders prevailed to the 5-0 win and the sweep of the Birdville Lady Hawks. The win set up a Region 1 4A area matchup with the Lady Cougars of Fort Worth Western Hills.

“The girls have really set the bar for softball this year,” said Franklin of her team’s performance throughout the playoffs. “They’ve played well all year.”

The Lady Raiders headed into their area matchup with the Lady Cougars with hopes of another easy two game sweep, but there was a reason why Fort Worth Western Hills were in the area round. The Lady Cougars, fresh off a sweep of Mansfield Timberview, took game 1 by a score of 5-3. The Lady Raiders were slow on the bats and fell behind before Abby Donnell hit a 3 run inside the park home run to make the score 5-3, but that would be as close as the Lady Raiders would come in game 1.

Game two the Lady Raiders bounced back and eliminated any thoughts of another sweep the Lady Cougars had in mind by taking game two by a score of 10-1. Macy Rainbolt and Lindsey Sheppard both hit multi-run home runs putting Rider up early and they never looked back as Sammy Hislop allowed just four hits while striking out 11 batters.

In a decisive game 3 with the whole season on the line Lindsey Sheppard came through on the offensive end blasting a pair of homers and a combined pitching effort from Donnell and Hislop proved to be enough to pace the Lady Raiders to the 5-3 win and advancement to the Regional quarterfinals.

“This team has real passion and the hunger to win,” Franklin said.